During the 34th World Congress of Endourology in Cape Town last week, Philips showcased how its high-tech fusion biopsy solution, Philips Invivo UroNav, improves precision in prostate diagnostics.

According to the Men’s Foundation, 1 in every 23 South African men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. However, many South African men undergoing standard biopsy techniques will have their cancer missed or under graded.

“Current detection methods – namely prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests and digital rectal exams (DRE) – lack specificity and are often inconclusive leading to many uncertainties for both patient and urologist,” said Specialist Urologist and Robotic Surgeon at Netcare Waterfall City, Dr Greg Boustead.

Prostate biopsy, the most reliable method of detection, is a challenge because of the difficulties in visualising potentially cancerous areas of the prostate, but also the location of the biopsy needle. Trans-rectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy (TRUS), the current biopsy standard, can be compared to looking for a needle in a haystack, with poor image resolution; the biopsy needle often passes through tumor-free areas of the prostate – potentially missing the tumor entirely.

“A lack of clear imaging has led to substantial uncertainty and inaccuracy in diagnosing prostate cancer. This means that at least 60% of cancers are missed; resulting in a 30%-40% re-biopsy rate.  The gold standard for prostate biopsy (a 35 year old pathway) is only accurately able to find up to 44% of prostate cancers within a cohort of men,” said Dr Boustead.

According to CEO of Philips South & Southern Africa, Ntutule Tshenye, the Philips Invivo UroNav technology improves precision in prostate diagnostics.

“The Philips Invivo UroNav fusion biopsy system is a breakthrough in prostate diagnostics for its ability to accurately target clinically significant cancers, reduce the detection of low-risk cancers and reduce the risk of erroneous initial biopsies leading to unnecessary repeat biopsies,” said Tshenye.

Philips Invivo UroNav uses magnetic resonance imaging, fused with live ultrasound guidance in conjunction with electromagnetic tracking to plan, guide and document prostate biopsies. UroNav simultaneously displays registered MR and ultrasound images and the projected needle path relative to the suspicious target lesion during the biopsy procedure and guides the urologist in real-time.

With this high resolution data and innovative targeting tools, doctors can identify specific areas within the prostate gland that are suspicious and require further evaluation.

Philips Invivo UroNav brings the power of MRI to the Urology suite as prostate and lesion segmentation data from Radiology are quickly and easily transferred to UroNav for review and target identification.

“This critical exchange of diagnostic information fosters enhanced collaboration between Radiology and Urology in the assessment and biopsy of suspicious prostate lesions,” said Boustead, who is one of the first urologists looking to invest in the Philips Invivo UroNav in South Africa in the future.

Performing a biopsy with MR/US fusion holds the potential to improve the sensitivity and specificity of prostate biopsies. This results in a reduced incidence rate of false negative biopsy results.

“By enabling earlier diagnosis, Philips Invivo UroNav allows a broader array of treatment options to be considered by the clinician, less complications for the patient, and a more cost-effective resolution for the care provider,” concluded Tshenye.

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